By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT—Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC, has fixed June 16, 2018 to conduct local government elections in the state.
The state electoral body made this disclosure in Port Harcourt, Tuesday, during a stakeholders’ meeting attended by leaders of political parties in the state.
In his address, Chairman and Chief Electoral Commissioner, RSIEC, Justice C. Uriri, noted that it was his responsibility and that of his commission to organise, undertake and supervise every election into local government councils.
Uriri expressed worries that for sometime now, there has not been local government elections in the state, adding that the law abhors vacuum.
Stressing the need for the council elections, he said the polls will hold in June, having also adhered to the 90 days mandatory notice provided by law.
Uriri said: “It is, therefore, imperative that we fix a date for local government elections in accordance with the said rules.
“By the power conferred on me as enshrined in the Rivers State Independent Electoral Law No. 2 of 2018, I, therefore, declare June 16, 2018 as Local Government Election Day in Rivers State. It is accordingly so fixed.”
He appealed to all political parties and politicians in the state to abide by the rules of the game and avoid violence in its ramifications.
“I reaffirm the commitment of RSIEC to perform its obligations, to reflect the aspirations of the electorate,” he said.
It is sacrilegious —APC
Meanwhile, All Progressives Congress, APC, at the meeting described the decision of RSIEC as sacrilegious, adding that it will not stand legal scrutiny.
Chairman of APC in the state, Chief Davies Ikanya, said: “We are just experiencing the worst of electoral bodies. I knew the governor of the state will do this, that is why I insisted on attending this meeting.
“The governor knows that the issue on the act establishing this illegal body is in court. The attorney-general went to court and the matter was adjourned till March 27 and today you have come to declare that election will hold in June.”
However, Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Felix Obuah, commended RSIEC for fixing a date for the council polls, adding that all the political parties in the state are okay with the development.